Santa Fe’s Raton Pass Model Railroad Structure Woodworking Shop Transformation

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Santa Fe’s Raton Pass Model Railroad is housed inside a building that was used for a woodworking shop for almost twenty years. No longer having a need for a woodworking shop, all the cabinet making equipment was sold and we began to make the interior suitable for the model railroad. A small work shop was still needed to take care of routine property maintenance and to maintain the model railroad.

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As you can see, there was a lot of equipment and tools inside the building. It took a month to sell this equipment and clean out the interior so that the remodeling could begin
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Once all the woodworking equipment had been sold, we started installing insulation and drywall on the walls and ceiling.
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Pegboard was added to the new shop area.
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The pegboard helped organize items and keep things in order. The shop was set up first, so that tools and supplies would be close at hand to build the model railroad.

With the new work shop tucked away on the west wall, we were able to complete the remodeling of the rest of the space. Insulation was added were needed, old OSB panels were removed from the walls and replaced with drywall. Drywall was added to the ceiling to cover the ceiling joists and seal out any dust left over from the woodshop. Once the drywall was installed, it was taped and floated, textured, and primed, painted with two-coats of interior latex paint.

New LED fluorescent lighting was installed over the new workbenches and LED track lighting was installed over the layout area. A few electrical plugs and junction boxes were moved to better serve the new shop and layout. A ceiling fan was added to the north end of the building and a window type air conditioner was added to the south end. There wasn’t a window on the south end, so we cut a hole in the wall for the AC.

The building already had a central furnace, but it needed to be turned 90 degrees so the model railroad benchwork would fit. We rotated the furnace and reconnected the plenum, stack, electrical power line and gas. We then build a short wall to hide the furnace from view.

When all the interior remodeling was completed, and the mess cleaned up, construction of the model railroad began. While we were working on the construction of the layout, we started thinking about what we could do to improve the appearance of the exterior.

The exterior of the building was in good shape, but the white steel siding was starting to peel in places and the red steel trim was fading. I noticed that the steel siding construction was very similar to the drop siding used on Santa Fe’s old-style wood frame depots. This gave us the idea to paint the building with the  same colors the Santa Fe Railway used for their wood frame depots, (Colonial Yellow and Bronze Green.) This would make the structure look almost exactly like an old Santa Fe Depot and enhance the experience of visitors coming to see the layout in the future. We liked the idea of making the building resemble a historic Santa Fe depot, but at the time it was the middle of summer with temperatures in the triple digits, so we decided to put of the exterior paint job till the fall when it would be much cooler, besides, we had plenty of work to do for now building the layout.

We won’t go into the details of how the layout was built in this article, but instead concentrate on the interior and exterior changes made to the building. We have a video on our website call “How it was Done,” that shows how Santa Fe’s Raton Pass Model RR was built.

The photo below shows the white steel siding with red steel trim. The main entry door has a storm door which was not standard on early Santa Fe’s early depots, but very important for us to have in the ever-changing Texas weather. Once painted with the new colors, minor changes to light fixtures and the addition of signs will give the visitor the look and feel of an early 20th century Santa Fe depot.

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The woodorking shop, in the southeast corner of the backyard, was usesd for the model railroad. The entire exterior is covered with white steel siding with dark red trim on the windows, doors and fascia. Next to the storm door are some color test samples that we used to pick the final color. The fence and gates around the deck will be removed lated.
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Fascia boards, door and window trim and corner trim will be painted “Bronze Green.”
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The “Colonial Yellow” sprayed over the white siding is a big change.
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Paint job complete with logo and station name sign installed. The large window on the side will be covered with a “Train Bulletin” sign. The white storm door will be painted with the “Bronze Green.”

About Wootton

We chose “Wooton” for the station name of the depot because of its historical significance.

Uncle Dick owned a toll road at the top of the pass and controlled access. The Santa Fe Railway purchased Raton Pass from Uncle Dick Wootton in 1878 and built a depot at Wootton in along with a Section House and a 20 x 16-foot wooden water tank.

Hey! While you’re here why don’t you consider giving us a helping hand? 

Ways to Donate:

  1. GoFundMe Campaign for Colorado & Southern Coach 535.

Colorado & Southern Coach 535 an important piece of history from the early 20th Century that is worthy of restoration and preservaton.  It was built by the American Car & Foundry Company in 1905 Company for the Colorado & Southern Railway. We must get it inside to do a complete restoration to original condition and to protect the car from the elements.”

To donate to Colorado & Southern Coach 535 – click here.

  1. Santa Fe’s Raton Pass Model Railroad.

The Santa Fe’s Raton Pass Model Railroad is about much more than merely having fun with scale trains. The model railroad provides the Society with a testing and proving ground for the donated model railroad equipment in the Dean Collection and other collections we may acquire in the future.

To donate to Santa Fe’s Raton Pass Model Railroad – click here.

  1. Become a Member.

You can become a member of the Railroad Artifact Preservation Society for only $20.00 a year. Join the hundreds of RAPS members around the world.

To Purchase a RAPS Membership – click here.

  1. Visit our Store.

The Raps Store has many items not found elsewhere for the railroad enthusiast. Check out our unique books, videos, caps and other items.

To Visit the RAPS Store – click here.

The RAPS is a 501C3 Non-Profit Corporation.

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